Regarding Dave Gilmour's comment, "For the county to attract qualified recruits, it has to pay the market rate": Perhaps we should have had these raises several years ago ... look what we got for what we paid! Please vote! — Sheila Whitesitt, Medford

The Medford City Council passed a resolution against hate crimes on June 5 in response to a couple of racial incidents. This action reflects the seriousness with which the elected branch of the municipal government considers this matter. The citizen witnesses and the city police force in swift response to the crime are also commendable.

It is unfortunate, however, that the judiciary does not share this perspective. A sentence of 20 days in jail with 11 months of supervised probation imposed by Judge Ray White on June 23 for racist crimes trivializes the incident and provides absolutely no deterrent against its recurrence.

Hopefully, a clearer message will be handed down in a future verdict against hate crime violence. — Tammy Snider, Medford

Oh my god! Pay raises of $98,040? Twenty-six percent, unbelievable! When this county is so badly in need of money the commissioners vote a huge pay raise. And who pays for it — yep, we do.

There are so many other places that $98,040 should go — like school construction, after-school programs and lunches. Libraries could probably use it to stay open, too.

As a veteran, I receive the huge pay raise of 2.3-2.6 percent. It sure doesn't add up to $17,909.I am truly mortified at the stupidity of this move at this time. — LaDawna Saylor, Ashland Oregon Treasures benefits all

Last Wednesday Representatives DeFazio, Hooley, Wu and Blumenauer introduced the Oregon Treasures Bill to protect in perpetuity important swaths of public land around Mount Hood, the Rogue River and Oregon Caves National Monument. Senator Wyden has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

The Rogue River is one of the engines that makes our local economy hum here in southwest Oregon. An expanded and re-energized Oregon Caves will constitute an additional draw in a region where we increasingly rely on tourism and recreation for revenue. As a father, and for my own selfish interests, I hope that Oregon Treasures will swiftly move across the president's desk. We should all thank our Oregon congressional delegation for their advocacy on the issue.

I exhort Senator Smith and Representative Walden to join their Democratic colleagues in their efforts. Oregon Treasures benefits all Oregonians, regardless of political affiliation. — Christopher Len, legal director, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Ashland

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